civil engineering

Heriot Watt Student Practical Training

The university wanted to give their students an applied understanding of using the latest survey technology. Students were studying the following courses: Construction Project Management & Quantity Surveyors, Geography, Architects and Urban Planning, Civil Engineering

Before the Coronavirus pandemic this was done face to face, with 5 days’ worth of training for 50 students each day. We provided 10 NA720 Levelling Kits, 10 GS16 GNSS, 10 Leica TS16 Total Stations. We split the days into three sessions and the students got practical experience as they completed hands-on exercises relevant to their course.

Customer Name
Heriot Watt University
Project and Location
Edinburgh, Scotland/Online
Usually 5 x 8-hour days (1 week) (2019) 3 x 2-hour sessions (2020)
Products (Inc Quantity)

Total Stations, GPS, Leica Captivate, Levelling Kits

The Challenge

Due to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, and regulations on group numbers and social distancing, we needed to devise a way to complete training remotely.

We had to give the students as much practical experience as possible without being able to see and touch the instruments in person. The students were located internationally, including Heriot Watt’s sister university, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We needed to ensure it was relevant and accessible to all, including those with poor bandwidth.

The Solution

We devised an online course that gave the students the feel of using the survey equipment whilst recording the data themselves to produce their reports. This was done by creating video content of real-life circumstances, for example looking through the Total Station telescopes, which allowed students to have the perspective of standing behind the instruments.

The students had project workbooks which allowed them to book their own data, spot errors, and work with realistic data relative to their course. They then had a set of coursework to complete as part of their practical module.

The Results

The students were engaged in the practical exercise and completed their coursework on their own. Bearing in mind that they were all over the world, in many different locations, they were still able to get almost the same quality of experience as a site-based lecture.

We managed to achieve a practical course online, leaving the students with the confidence, experience and understanding of how the instruments operate without physically touching them.

This is a uniquely interactive method of practical training that we have developed that allows us to bring bespoke online courses to academic institutes internationally.

To enquire about bespoke Sunbelt Survey training courses, please contact or call 0330 678 0181.

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